Today’s entry for Black History Month and Black 365 is The Black Panther Party, or BPP.
The Black Panther Party of Self-Defense (later shortened to simply “Black Panther Party”) was founded in October of 1966, in Oakland California by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. The organization showed that we can defend ourselves, organize, and help our people through many different programs, including health clinics, free breakfast/lunch for children, shoes for children, and many other beneficial, ingenious programs.
People incorrectly think the BPP was a hate group, but that is not so. It was about defending our people from the brutality and terrorism we were (and are) facing daily, and about gaining freedom, equality, justice, and peace. It was about our people becoming self-reliant and self-sufficient.
The Panthers also created the “Ten Point Program”:
- 1. Freedom & power to determine the future/destiny of the Black community.
- 2. Full employment for our people, or the ability to employ our people ourselves.
- 3. Stop the robbery of the Black community by the rich capitalists, and give reparations to be disbursed among the community.
- 4. Decent housing.
- 5. Education, but a change in the curriculum so that the education, particularly history, is accurate.
- 6. Black male exemption from military service.
- 7. Immediate end to police terrorism/brutality and the murder of Black people
- 8. Freedom of all Black men held in Federal, State, County And City Prisons
- And Jails.
- 9. All Black juries for Black people.
- 10. We Want Land, Bread, Housing, Education,
Clothing, Justice And Peace.
So powerful were the panthers, and so hateful and fearful were many whites, that COINTELPRO was created to infiltrate, undermine, and destroy this organization and all Black movements. COINTELPRO used any and all tactics—including assassination—to destroy this powerful group.